Today we sit down for a chat with Peace Morrow, protagonist of the Peace Morrow Novels by author Sandra Carey Cody.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
First, let me tell you that I was adopted. Not a big deal, you say? Actually, it is; it’s an important part of my story. An indomitable Quaker woman found me in the corner of a dusty shed behind a museum and adopted me. She gave me a normal, happy childhood, but that didn’t stop me from looking into the face of every new person I met and wondering if we were related. The Dr. Seuss book “Are You My Mother?” had special meaning for me. Having said that, let me add that, even in my most rebellious moments, I knew I’d hit the jackpot when it came to mothers. When Ms. Cody came into my life, I’d recently graduated from college, had a cute little apartment that I shared with Henry, the world’s trustiest Black Lab, and was working at my dream job in the museum where what little I knew of my life had begun.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I love new experiences and am open to just about anything.
What do you like least about yourself?
Well, as you can imagine, the openness I just mentioned sometimes gets me in trouble. It’s kind of a best of traits, worst of traits situation.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
Working at my first job after graduating from college, she had me stumble over the body of a man who looked so much like me, I knew I’d found my father—the person who could answer the questions I’d been hiding in my heart my whole life. Here was my chance to discover who I was. Trouble was, he was dead, not just dead, but a John Doe—a drifter who wandered into town with no identity. With no clue who he was, how could he help me find out who I am?
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
We had one big argument—and I won! Early in the book, my author had the misguided idea that she could tell my story without letting me find my biological parents. She thought I needed to learn the lesson that it didn’t matter whose DNA I carried, the important thing was what I made of myself. I set her straight on that, insisting that not only did I deserve to know my parentage, so did the readers of my story. I reminded her that characters deserve closure and readers deserve answers.
What is your greatest fear?
That one day I’ll meet one or both of my biological parents and they won’t like me or worse yet, I won’t like them. Maybe they’re serial killers. I saw the play, The Bad Seed, when I was in college. I know the risk I’m taking by pursuing their identity.
What makes you happy?
Imagining myself celebrating holidays with a big, sprawling family—grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins. As an only child, I always wanted more faces around the dinner table.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
Before the homeless man was killed, I had a chance to ask him about himself and to point out how much alike we looked. If only I had, I might have saved myself a lot of heartache—and maybe his life.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
That has to be my boss at the museum where I work. She’s stuffy and wants to chase away a scruffy teenager who hangs around the museum. She cares far too much about the museum’s image and not enough about reaching out to a lonely kid.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Believe it or not, Caroline Morrow, my adoptive mother. If ever there was a person who knows who she is, it’s my mom. She’s fearless, a Quaker, described by her peers as the most militant pacifist on the planet. I’d love to possess her confidence and certainty.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
My author, Sandra Carey Cody (Sandy) also writes the Jennie Connors mystery series. Her website is http://www.sandracareycody.com and she blogs at a couple of places: http://www.birthofanovel.wordpress.com and http://www.classicandcozybooks.blogspot.com
What's next for you?
It’s not a spoiler to tell you that by the end of Love and Not Destroy, I know the story of my birth and identify of my biological parents. In the next book, An Uncertain Path, I meet a cousin and my grandparents, part of that sprawling family I’ve always dreamed about. It turns out to be a mixed blessing, but aren’t we always surprised by what happens when a dream comes true?
Love and Not Destroy
A baby is found in a basket on the grounds of a small-town museum during their annual Folk Festival. Twenty-two years later, the body of a homeless man is discovered in the exactly same spot with an antique scalpel in his chest. Peace Morrow, the foundling, now an adult working at the museum, is haunted by the coincidence. As she tries to reconstruct the victim's history, his story becomes entangled with her own search for family roots – a search no one wants her to pursue. Peace's only allies are a fifteen-year old misfit as desperate to lose his family as Peace is to find here, and Henry, the world's trustiest Black Lab. In addition to being a mystery, this novel explores the ways in which the present is shaped and haunted by the past.